Lyonesse III

Jack Vance
Lyonesse III Cover

Lyonesse III: Madouc


This third and final book of a series completes a large narrative, tells its own stories, and leaves one big mystery open at the end (Joald was hinted at in the first book). It could probably be read on its own, but that would seem unlikely - the title doesn't exactly jump off the shelf by itself. A really good book and series.

Why not five stars? Some of the scenes of army and battle went by very rapidly - I could mentally picture a map with moving arrows. The clever maneuvering of the second book was replaced by brute force. I got the feeling that the Troicinet navy was a major thing, but unfortunately none of the books describe the naval point of view. Very minor quibbles, though.

I really liked Madouc's story and her maneuvers around the Fey. This copper haired maiden and part rebel is a strong character in many ways. She smoothly handled both a the three-headed ogre AND her headstrong companion in the same scene. If there's one quote I could use to sum up the entire venture, it would be from her other companion in that scene. "We are vagabonds, and each of us follows a dream."